Business owners tell me all the time... "I'm to busy for social media". Hmmmm... really? That's interesting when you consider Facebook is the most frequently checked website while YouTube is the second most search website and LinkedIn is the largest professional business network while Twitter is the fastest growing social network. (Here are some more fresh 2013 stats.) Social media is really the party you can't afford NOT to be a part of! If you decide not to participate, best of luck because everyone else is there... including your customers AND competition.
That spurred on yesterday's webinars ~ 5 time saving social media tips for busy business owners. It obviously was a popular topic because the two webinars had nearly 1,000 impressions! So we've posted one of the recordings above (or you can click HERE). Also here are the Cliff Notes...
Create a Strategy
This is HUGE!! So many business owners waste time b/c they have NO IDEA what they want to say. Instead... be intentional. In order to do that, you need to be very clear about your goals. Don't just say... I want more followers or fans. That's a numbers game and doesn't make a difference in your bottom line. Do you want to Build Sales? Build Reputation? Build Customer Service?
Once you have a crystal clear goal, ask yourself what you need to do to get there. If you want to build sales, add a shopping cart to your facebook page. Create an online conversion processes for your sales funnel? If you want to build your reputation, are you targeting local media and have you put together story ideas? If customer relations is a priority, do you have people on call to respond in real time?
Regardless, of the strategy you chose, please don't "SELL, SELL, SELL!" You need to let people get to know, like and trust you in order for them to want to spend their hard earned money w/ you. So, if you do nothing else, at least put the 80/20 Rule in place. 80% of the time, post non-sales related content, promote others, give expert tips in your field & let them get to know you.... only 20% should you post content that's out-right sales. Ignore this on social media and you'll have potential clients running for the nearest exit with no chance of EVER coming back.
Schedule Social Media Time Like an Appt
If you don't schedule it, it won't happen. So, make it a priority. Decide on 30 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour a day... and break it up into scheduled sections. For instance... 15 minutes at 9am, 15 minutes at noon, 15 minutes at 2pm, 15 minutes at 4:30. Set the timer on you phone to begin your appointment AND to end it. That way you don't put it off, but you also don't forget to stop. (And this is NOT a time to creep on friend's personal profiles. This time is spent on social media strategy for your business ONLY!)
Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are so many great time saving tools out there! For instance, I love Hootsuite. Yes, there are now a Corporate Partner of mine, but I was using them LONG before that. Hootsuite is a 3rd party application that allows you to add all your social media platforms and operate from one place. (BRILLIANT!) It also allows you to schedule posts when necessary, but I caution doing this too much because there's no advantage to appearing to be engaged with your followers. So use this technique sparingly. Also, Hootsuite allows you to assign social media responses and follow up to team members and employees -- much like you'd do with emails. That keeps you from having missed opportunities and botched sales through social media avenues.
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Create a Content Grid
When we make a Content Grid for our clients, it's customized but honestly you can simply use a wall or desk calendar. The point is, you write down WHAT (social media content) you're going to post, WHEN (day/time) you're going to post it and WHERE (social media platform). So for instance, if you're an insurance agent, you could do a whole month with the theme of "saving money on your home insurance". So, spend a Sunday researching great tips (20+), articles and videos that you can use. That day you might also write some blogs and shoot some videos on your webcam. (Batching those activities all together will save you time and keep you from running out of time trying to do them each day.) Then you schedule them on your calendar for the entire month... several posts on Twitter a day, a post or two in Facebook a day, 1 post a day on LinkedIn, 2 videos a week, 2 blogs a week, 2-3 pinterest pics a week. If you've organized it before the month starts, you won't run out of things to say by the 10th of the month. Also, because you have a plan, you can build up to product launches or special holiday sales. But because you're posting it fresh each day (not automated), you can make changes if there's breaking news or you see something else that would be much more relevant that day.
Strategically Stalk w/ Excellence
This is a phrase I truly believe in... and there's nothing creepy about it. It's about thinking local, but going global. Social media makes it possible to find clients, collaborators and mentors anywhere in the world, not just your own backyard. You can use tools like Twitaholic to identify twitter users with a large following in your area. By looking at their profiles, you may find some who have similar interests. I found women across the country with which to network in a Forbes article about the top women on social media. You can also look for other Facebook Fan pages that might be a good collaborator with yours. All this is true with LinkedIn and there are tons of opportunities with LinkedIn Groups. Anyhoo... you strategically seek out potential clients/customers as well as possible collaborators and mentors, then you find a way for a networking opportunity but you never asking for anything. When I met Tory Johnson from Good Morning America on Twitter, I gave her story ideas. Hey, I'd been in TV News for 20 years... it was a good fit. She's not only been my mentor for 3+ years, but we've become dear friends and collaborated on many projects. Believe me... it's works!
Want to Dig A Little Deeper?
Read more about my Socialvention Group Intensive Class HERE and discover how Social Media will work for your business. My next class starts on June 20th!